Hey Chuck, thanks for the cash!!!

Darn right, I did

Were you awake and watching CBS This Morning at about 7:40AM on Saturday?  No?!?!  Well that’s too bad because if you had tuned in you would’ve seen an interview with the $10,000 winner of Charles Schwab’s “Oh Chuck, I Blew my Cash” photo and video contest…and that winner was me!

On top of the ten grand, the nice folks at Charles Schwab also treated me to a trip to New York so I could appear on CBS’ morning show.  It was a very surreal experience but overall I had a ton of fun.  I would have promoted my little appearance ahead of time but I had to keep the news top secret.  For this contest, people were supposed to submit a photo or a video and tell a story about something crazy that they wasted money on.  (Money that could have been put to better use in a Charles Schwab account.)  As soon as I read the description for this one I knew exactly what my video was going to be about.  Here’s my submission:

Grand Prize Winner.  Prize:  $10,000 in a Schwab account and a trip to New York:

Believe it or not, filming that video was one of the most difficult shoots of my life!  Because I’m an idiot I waited until the last minute and I wound up filming on one of the hottest and brightest days of the year.  That’s why the colors look kind of weird.  Even with my ND filter on, the sun just blasted everything out so I had to darken all the footage in post.  This was literally the last video I shot with my big, bulky HVX-200.  Have you every tried to hold a 15 pound video camera over your head while inside a bouncy house that was as hot as an oven after filming outside in the bright sun for a few hours?  I have and I don’t recommend it.  After I turned my camera off I basically collapsed onto the floor of the bouncy house.  I had barely ate or drank anything all day (like I said, I’m an idiot) and suddenly I realized that I might have heat stroke.  My head was throbbing, my skin felt like it was 105 degrees and I could barely move.  The bouncy house had been stored in my grandmother’s garage and I did the shoot in her backyard.  I was by myself, laying on the inflatable floor and I felt like I was dying.  Then a terrifying thought crossed my mind; dying of heat stroke inside of a bouncy castle while filming a video contest entry would be the most hilarious and appropriate way I could possibly die.   But there was no way I was going to spend my last moments in a goddamn bouncy castle so I forced myself to slither out of the little opening.  I rushed home and looked in the mirror and my skin was blood red.  I thought I had gotten a terrible sun burn.  But after I took an ice cold shower and drank a gallon of water my skin color was back to normal.  So it wasn’t a sun burn…it was a sign that I was you know, sort of dying of heat stroke.

But in the end my near death experience was worth it!  I’ve won a $10,000 video contest prize before but since I got a free trip, this is technically my biggest win ever.  And being on CBS This Morning was a great prize in and of itself.  I was on with a financial consult from Schwab and he actually did most of the talking.  The hosts just introduced me, asked me a question or two and then they started talking about fiances with the adviser guy.  I did manage to squeeze in one joke and I think I accidentally embarrassed the consultant a little bit.  The hosts asked if he had given me any advice about how how I should spend my prize money.  I said something like “backstage this guy was telling me I should buy 10 more bouncy castles!”  (I just noticed how shocked he looks in the screengrab about to post.)  He was a cool guy though and he kept me talking backstage to help me from being nervous.  So just for the record, he did NOT tell me I should buy $10,000 worth of bouncy houses.

Our segment is on the CBS This Morning website and you can see it by clicking this image of me cracking wise.  By  the way, my real, non-Beardy name is Dan but at the end of the video the host called me Don.  (I assume it was because I reminded her of Don Draper.)  So since Saturday I’ve got about 20 “Congratulations Don!” texts, calls and facebook messages from my wise ass friends.

You’ll have to sit through a commercial and a lot of finance talk if you watch the video. Sorry about that.

I’ve been to New York a lot of times over the years but my “Oh Chuck” adventure was definitely a lot classier than my past visits.  Schwab put me up in the Parker Meridian which is a super swanky place.  I had a totally baller hotel room over looking central park.  I also had a car service take me wherever I needed to go and let me tell you, that little perk is priceless if you’re in NYC.  Oh, and I also got my very first Per Diem!  I blew about 25% of it having “James Beard Award winning” potato pancakes for breakfast in my hotel’s trendy little restaurant though.

In all, the Oh Chuck, I Blew My Cash contest received over 250 photo and video submissions so the odds make this win all the sweeter.  A huge thanks goes out to the folks at Charles Schwab for being so cool to me and for running such an awesome contest.  Even if I hadn’t won, this competition would have earned a place on my “best video contests of 2012″ list.  This was actually a really huge promotion; four runners up won prizes of $5,000 each and several honorable mentions won $1,000 prizes.  You can click to see the winning photos and to see the winning videos.

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5 Responses to “Hey Chuck, thanks for the cash!!!”

  1. Marissa says:

    Whoa! Way excited to hear about your win! Congrats on a job well done!

  2. Shane Free says:

    ha, awesome! congrats!

  3. Jae Staats says:

    Dude, that’s huge! Congrats man and wow, an appearance on national TV as well. Sweet!!!

  4. David Brashear says:

    Congrats, Beardy!

  5. Beardy says:

    Thanks everybody!

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